Accidents do happen occasionally, and having a tooth knocked out is a pretty big deal. Although the odds of saving a knocked-out tooth reduce as you get older, it is far more common these days for permanent teeth to be saved or re-implanted.
An intact tooth is always worth trying to save, however, if the tooth is broken into pieces, the likelihood of saving it is almost negated.
Let’s see what you can do if your tooth is knocked out.
Children’s first, or baby, teeth are never re-implanted, but they should still be examined by a dental professional as soon as possible following the trauma, particularly if the tooth wasn’t loose to begin with, just to make sure the gums are not damaged.
When a tooth is knocked out, an occurrence known in the professional dentistry world as an ‘avulsed tooth,’ the blood vessels, supporting soft tissues and the nerves all sustain damage. Although the nerves and blood vessels cannot be effectively repaired, the bone often will re-attach to the root after the tooth has been re-implanted.
The first things to do once the tooth is knocked out
- Pick up the tooth by the part that ‘chews’. Try not to touch or handle the root part of the tooth, as this can cause further damage to the most delicate part.
- Rinse off any excess dirt with clean water or milk. Do not dry the tooth, as the root could become damaged.
- Call your emergency dentist and make an appointment, explaining what has happened.
- Many experts recommend that you try to re-seat the tooth in your mouth, where it was before it was knocked out. If you can’t do that, then place the rinsed tooth in a container with a lid. Ideally the tooth should be kept moist, so cover the it with milk or cool, boiled water.
- In an emergency situation, if you have none of the resources mentioned above, you can simply hold the tooth in your mouth, against your cheek, to keep it moist while you get to the dentist.
- Get to your dentist as quickly as you can.
What the dentist can do to save your tooth
Depending upon the severity of the injury, and how much time has passed since the tooth is knocked out (ideally under an hour), your dentist should be able to re-implant the tooth during a root canal operation.
Your dentist may perform a temporary ‘fix’ to reseat the tooth, and wait before performing root canal treatment. Every case will be different, but a normal, straightforward process should take three to four weeks for the bone to re-attach to the root.
Dental Excel offers emergency dentistry at all our practices on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane. Should you have a tooth knocked out, contact us as soon as you can to try to save the tooth. We will if we can, but we need your help too, so follow the guidelines above and get to us quickly.